Following the required Public Hearing, Cherokee's City Council Tuesday night approved the first reading of an amendment to the City Zoning Code that would change the zoning of a lot in Block 1 of the Doherty Addition from R-1 to R-2 to allow for the future construction of a four-bedroom house for Cherokee County Residential Services.
R-1 indicates single-family dwelling, while R-2 indicates multiple-family dwelling.
The proposed new home would meet the housing need in Cherokee for people with disabilities, according to Calvin Carver, CCRS president.
CCRS is a non-profit agency which provides housing for individuals with disabilities in Cherokee County. The group is in need of a new, handicapped accessible home.
Organizers say the home would need staff available 24 hours per day which would mean additional job in the community. One person already has committed to moving back to Cherokee and living there, and two others are interested, according to Carver.
"We have everything ready to go (to begin construction)," said Carver. "The walls will be pre-fab and all else will be in-house (built on the site)."
The required second reading is scheduled for the next Council meeting (August 11), with the possibility of the Council waiving the third reading and giving final approval to the measure that night.
In other action, the Council agreed with the recommendation from the Planning & Zoning Commission and turned down another zoning change request after its Public Hearing Tuesday night.
Mike Morrow had sought the zoning change from M-1 Industrial to C-1 Commercial to allow him to relocate an "old" garage on his property at 324 W. Beech St. Terming it "spot zoning," the Council unanimously voted down the measure.
The Council renewed its annual tool lease with Duane Mummert, Cherokee Parks Superintendent, at the same cost as last year - $10,029.40. The City utilizes a wide variety of special tools and equipment owned by Mummert for specific jobs in all City departments, reasoning that the City then does not have to purchase that same equipment to get the necessary work done. The renewal came on a 4-1 vote, with Councilmember Gregg Stieneke voting nay.
Five Cherokee businesses were recognized, applauded, and given certificates of Appreciation by the City for donating materials, expertise, and labor for the construction of the beautiful new entry signs on roadways coming into Cherokee. They are Harman Masonry, Mongan Painting Company, Holton Signs, Randy Menke Construction, and Duane Mummert.
During a special workshop meeting held before the regular Council meeting Tuesday, City Administrator Don Eikmeier and Streets Superintendent Jim Agnitsch, at the request of Councilmember Mick Mallory, clarified their decision made several months ago not to purchase the Cherokee Fire & Rescue's old tank truck.
The CFR purchased a new tanker truck with Federal Grant monies and offered to sell the old tanker to the City for $14,000. Eikmeier and Agnitsch decided not to pursue the purchase after learning book value was $6,000 and that the stainless steel tanker naturally was worth a lot of money the City didn't need to spend for such limited use, according to Agnitsch. The Rural Fire Department actually owned the tanker and eventually sold it to Schoon Construction for $12,000.
Mallory said he brought the issue up because he was disappointed the matter was never discussed in open session when the City nixed buying the tanker.
Agnitsch and Eikmeier said that the fire department never got back to them about possibly negotiating the price after they (City) balked at paying $14,000 for the truck.
The Council's seating arrangement around the over-sized, cumbersome table in the City Chambers used by the Council for meetings also was discussed in the workshop session Tuesday, at the request of Mallory. Eikmeier will further investigate the possibilities of an improved seating arrangement using other City-owned tables and/or adjusting the large existing table that disassembles into three pieces.
Currently, the Council sits on one side of the large table and the public seating is on the opposite side, away from the table.
During the Public Forum period preceding the regular meeting, the Council heard from resident Marvin Wampler regarding a recent police citation to clean up used vehicles and other materials on his property at 926 Birch St.
Wampler complained that the citation was against his rights as an owner of private property located on private property, and that he's trying to sell the used vehicles.
Eikmeier explained the City Code regarding public nuisances and advised the Council that he would meet with Wampler the next day (Wednesday) to discuss the matter and explain the City's position to him.
In other action, the Council approved an application for Tax Abatement under the Urban Revitalization Plan for a property at 1020 N. Roosevelt Ave. for Shirley Wilcox, who is building a new home estimated at $200,000.